Quito
National Parks

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Quito National Parks

Cotopaxi National Park & Quilotoa Full-Day Tour

1. Cotopaxi National Park & Quilotoa Full-Day Tour

Depart by bus from through the Panamerican Highway admiring the diverse ecosystems of the route, as a clear sign of the majesty of the Andes. Continue to the Cotopaxi National Park, arriving at the foot of the impressive active volcano. Visit the Museum Park, the Limpiopungo Lagoon and and through an interesting hike will reach the forest of chuquirahuas to 4200 meters. (if the weather permits). See the Quilotoa Volcano. With a stunning turquoise lagoon in its crater, it's one of the most beautiful landscapes of Ecuador. Take a short hike to appreciate the magnificent view of the volcano (if weather conditions allow) and enjoy time for lunch at your own expense.

Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

2. Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

Visit Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains. The park is home to the active Cotopaxi volcano that towers 19,642 feet above sea level. When you reach the park your naturalist guide will show you the exceptional variety of flora and fauna. Hike to the Limpiopungo lagoon, located on the slopes of the volcano. Stop at the lagoon for a short rest to take in the landscapes and the spectacular views of the volcano. Continue the hike to the Jose Ribas shelter and experience the environment at almost 16,000 feet above sea level.

Quito: Private Mindo Cloud Forest Tour with Cable Car Ride

3. Quito: Private Mindo Cloud Forest Tour with Cable Car Ride

After pickup from your hotel in Quito, take a 2-hour ride to the Bosque Protector Mindo Nambillo. Explore the cloud forest with your private bilingual guide, and appreciate the picturesque scenery even more on an included cable car ride. Learn about the 4 stages in the lives of butterflies at the butterfly garden, where you can observe around 1,200 of these colorful creatures. Next, walk through the cloud forest to one of the most visited natural attractions in Mindo, the Nambillo Waterfall. Formed by a rapid in the Nambillo, it's a popular natural spa. Take a dip in the crystal clear waters of the pool area, if you like. At the end of your, you'll be dropped off back at your hotel in Quito.

From Quito: 4-Day Nature & Culture Tour

4. From Quito: 4-Day Nature & Culture Tour

Start your four-day Quito adventure with a visit to the Cotopaxi National Park where you can walk around Limpiopungo Lake and enjoy the scenery of one of the highest and most active volcanoes in Ecuador. The next day, explore the charming city of Baños to enjoy the famous Avenida de las Cascadas. Visit the Pailon del Diablo waterfall where you can try what’s known as the “swing at the end of the world.” The following day, get picked up by your guide and travel to Chimborazo Faunistic Reserve. Walk around and enjoy the scenery of the highest mountain in Ecuador, Chimborazo. Spot some vicuñas. Take time for lunch before visiting Balbanera church, and then traveling south to Ingapirca, the most important archaeological complex in Ecuador, where you will learn about the Cañari and Incan cultures. Stay overnight in Cuenca, known as one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador which you can continue to explore the next day with a visit to the historic center, and Cajas National Park or Gualaceo and Chordeleg.

Cotopaxi National Park: Private Tour from Quito

5. Cotopaxi National Park: Private Tour from Quito

Depart from Quito at approximately 08:00 by the "Pan-Americana Sur" way, admiring the beautiful Andean landscapes.  Visit the National Park with its interpretation center and learn about the indigenous animals. Stop at Lake “Limpiopungo” and also climb to the refuge of the highest active volcano "Cotopaxi" of 5,897 meters high.   Cotopaxi National Park is a protected area located in Ecuador Latacunga Canton in the province of Cotopaxi in Ecuador. Inside the park and in the territory of the province of Cotopaxi is the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano. Its ecosystem is home to several arboreal species, especially pine, live species of cypress, pine, spruce and ash trees. Finally, rest and enjoy nature at a hotel refuge where you can taste a hot and delicious traditional lunch before returning to Quito.

From Quito: Antisana Volcano Small Group Tour

6. From Quito: Antisana Volcano Small Group Tour

Drive to visit the Antisana Volcano (19500 ft), the most impressive Andean mount near Quito and sanctuary of wild Andean condor and other birds. Drive along the foothills of the volcano in order to reach a small village. From there drive up to reach the entrance of Hacienda Antisana. On this part of the road you can visualize the magnificent basaltic gorge of the Antisana Volcano. Driving into the hacienda and visiting the wetlands, see some species of paramo (tundra plants at 12000 ft.) Here you stop to watch interesting Andean birds like the Caranculated Caracara and Black Headed Ibis.  You also have the chance to see Andean rabbits (Silvilagus Brasiliensis) and white tail deer (Oidecoileus Virginianus). You can hike there and see the glacier of Antisana. Then drive up to the Micacocha Lake where you have the chance to watch Andean gulls and speckled teals, typical birds of the Andean water systems.  Enjoy a little hike through the marvelous Andean areas to observe and recognize the Andean important flora species like the cushion plant, ranunculo plants, gentians, and others. If you are lucky, and if the weather conditions are good, you will see Andean Condor. In the afternoon, drive back to Quito.

Quito: Private Mindo Cloud Forest Tour

7. Quito: Private Mindo Cloud Forest Tour

You will leave Quito at around 8:00AM in a private private car with your tour guide. From here you will venture towards the Mindo Valley, which is among the most heavily visited locations in Ecuador. Nearly 200,000 tourists visit the area annually to enjoy activities such as rafting, tubing, trekking, mountain biking, canyoning, horseback riding, bird watching, and herping. Much of the land is privately protected, and an additional 86 square kilometers falls within the Mindo-Nambillo Ecological Reserve. Mindo is a mountainous watershed situated in the western slopes of the Andes, where two of the most biologically diverse eco-regions in the world meet: the Chocoan lowlands and the Tropical Andes. This transitional preserve covers an area of 268 square kilometers and ranges from 960–3,440 meters above sea level. Three rivers (Mindo, Saloya and Cinto) and hundreds of streams irrigate the landscape, which consists of a patchwork of cloud forests, secondary forests, agricultural land, and human settlements.

Mindo's Cable Car and Waterfalls

8. Mindo's Cable Car and Waterfalls

On the Tarabita, you travel between mountain tops, stopping at the falls entrances. The destination begins the walk towards the Nambillo waterfall, which is roughly a 15 minute walk. This spot is magnificent for swimming and photography. Feel free to spend some time here soaking in the beauty. Next, take a hike to either the Sanctuary of Waterfalls or the exclusive path to the Reina Waterfall. The Sanctuary of Waterfalls is roughly a 30 minute walk, and Reina Waterfall is roughly a 60 minute walk. Both tracks are surrounded by virgin forest, where you will have the chance to spot wildlife and unique flora along the way. This round trip, allows you return on the cable car, so you can spend more time adventuring in the forest.

Quito: City Tour, Teleferico & Pichincha Volcano Hike

9. Quito: City Tour, Teleferico & Pichincha Volcano Hike

Departing from your Quito hotel, you'll embark on a journey that will let you discover some of Quito's top attractions. First, visit Panecillo Hill which allows for panoramic views of the city. Don't forget to bring your camera. The tour will then continue on to the Basilica Church, and to the San Juan Mirador from where you'll have a beautiful sight of Quito's colonial center.  Stroll through the colonial streets and get a glimpse at the old city's top attractions including Independence Plaza, the cathedral and the Government Palace. You'll also visit La Ronda Street, the Company Church, Santo Domingo Church, Sagrario Church and San Francisco Church. After visiting the historical site, head to Teleferico, Quito's famous cable car. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the city with views of beautiful valleys, snow-capped mountains and of the city itself. From a point at more than 4,100 meters (13,500 feet), you'll enjoy magnificent views, as well as embarking on a leisurely hike on top of the mountains. If you are already acclimatized, you can go for a walk to Rucu Pichincha volcano. This hike will take you through the typical Paramo (highland) vegetation of the Andes up to the rocky summit of Rucu Pichincha, which is a volcano basically made up of series of andesitic lava and is crowned by a sequence of subglacial gaps that form the youngest peaks of this building. The Rucu Pichincha 4698 meters, a volcano without activity, is located in the vicinity of the Ecuadorian capital. It is advisable to climb it to acclimatize, if you intend to climb other mountains. The Rucu Pichincha is undoubtedly the mountain near Quito of greater importance. Its name is due to the fact that it was the first crater of the Pichincha massif and therefore the oldest peak. "Rucu" which in Quichua means "old," is an extinct volcano whose activity culminated in the Pleistocene. From this time, it was intensely eroded by the ancient glaciers that have polished its slopes and have only left pointed rocky peaks. From the 4698 meters (15450 feet) high summit, you will have great sights on a clear day, with Quito down in the valley below you and the surrounding snow-capped volcanoes Cayambe, Antisana and Cotopaxi in the horizon. In the afternoon, you will return to Quito. 

From Quito: 2-Day Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Trip

10. From Quito: 2-Day Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Trip

Depart Quito early in the morning and drive along the scenic Avenue of the Volcanoes, spotting various mountains including, el Corazon, Rumiñahui, Illinizas, Pasochoa, and Atacazo. Arrive at the national park surrounding the Cotopaxi volcano, which stands as the highest active volcano in the world at 5,897 meters. Start by hiking around the lake at the foot of the volcano. Then drive up the volcano to reach 4,500 meters. If weather permits and park regulations allow, climb to reach the refuge at 4,800 meters and from there continue up to the glaciers. Your time on the peak will also include a visit to the Interpretation Center to learn about the flora and the fauna of the park. Stay overnight in Cotopaxi. On day two, head to the Quilotoa volcano, stopping along the way in a traditional indigenous village. Visit with the locals in a typical indigenous house made of straw learning about their way of life and agricultural practices. Then make another stop in the town of Tigua, famous for its naive paintings. Continue on to reach Quilotoa. Choose to descend to the reach the shore of the lake located in the mountain crater or just walk around the crater. Then go on a mule ride around the mountain, taking in the incredible highland landscapes. Afterwards return to Quito.

Frequently asked questions about Quito National Parks

What are other things to do than National Parks that are worth visiting in Quito?

The other unmissable things to do in Quito are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Quito

Want to discover all there is to do in Quito? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Quito

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 72 reviews

I just got back from today’s excursion and it was absolutely incredible! Daniel was our guide and he was easily one of the best guides I’ve ever had. He was engaging, helpful, and super knowledgeable! I would absolutely go on another tour with him. Cotopaxi and Quilotoa were amazing! I would absolutely recommend! We did get very lucky with the weather but if you have even decent weather it will be time and money well spent. I will say if you get car sick do not go on this trip. Many hours on a bus on extremely winding roads! But having said that if that won’t bother you the views are incredible!

Knowledgeable and friendly guides, comfortable minibus and the lunch was very good. Of course it depends a bit on the weather, we were lucky and had a very nice view of Cotopaxi and the surrounding nature. We can only recommend the tour.

Great tour of two amazing destinations in Ecuador. Feels slightly rushed as a schedule, with a lot of time in the road, but the guide, Daniel, was the best tour guide we've ever had.

Full tour. It complies with seeing both volcanoes that are wonderful. You have to be aware of the weather, as it can affect visibility. Very kind our guide Daniel

Best thing to do in Ecuador. Daniel was our tour guide and I cannot compliment him enough!!!